Every project file on VideoHive is required to have an included help file. This help file is intended to serve as a quick guide for buyers, walking them through your organizational methods, naming conventions, compositions, layers, and effect parameters. Of course, help files are not meant to teach each buyer how to use After Effects. The help file should be a short and effective guide on your file within the software.
What Should I Add to my Help file?
Put yourself in a buyer's shoes, and think about your file, and what elements within it you'd want to change if you bought the file for a project.
Right off the bat, you're going to want to explain your folder structure. Making a clean folder structure to begin with makes this part easy. Explain how your compositions are set up, and then touch on some important layers within those compositions. For example, let's say your project has one main placeholder image that can be replaced with the buyer's asset. You're going to want to tell the buyer where the placeholder can be found within the project. The following text would be appropriate:
"To change the main placeholder, navigate to the folder "Compositions" and then open the composition titled "Main_Placeholder". From there you will see two layers. Your asset needs to be placed on the top layer."
This process helps guide the buyers, and get them familiar with the structuring of the project file. It makes it easier for them to navigate within, while pinpointing exact locations of essential element changes.
Specific Changes, Tools & Tips
This is where you start walking the user through the customization process. Below is a list of elements you should explain to your buyers. While discussing these elements, not only should you explain where they are, but also explain any tips or hints that will make modifications easier.
- Placeholders - Explain where the placeholder compositions are located, and how a user should approach replacing them.
- Text & Titles - Explain where the text compositions are located, and how these can be modified.
- Backgrounds - If your project contains extra backgrounds, or one background can be modified, explain how to replace them.
- Colors - If you have any means of controlling color, through an effect or another form, explain which attribute within the effect changes the color.
- Extending or Shortening the Animation (not required, but appreciated)
When explaining these changes, try to include any tips or hints that will make these changes faster. Doing this also allows you to explain modifications in a shorter process rather than explaining the normal After Effects way of doing things. Remember, you're not teaching buyers how to use the software, you are teaching them how to modify your project. A good strategy is making effective use of pre-compositions, so that buyers only need to open a folder called "Modify" (or something along those lines). Within this folder would be all the compositions that could be modified. Some authors choose to cover handy tips, which buyers always appreciate. For instance, you could explain how to replace the current layer with the new one, while retaining any effects, keyframes, or settings that were on the original placeholder layer, by holding the ALT key on the keyboard and dragging the new asset on top of the selected layer.
Which Format Should I Choose?
At this point you need to make a decision which format you are going to select for your help file. And this really comes down to author preference. We accept any format that is cross OS compatible (Windows & Mac), and that can effectively explain the process. A few examples of acceptable formats are:
- Rtf - Simple and to the point.
- Video Tutorials - Many authors find screen recordings much easier to create. Especially in terms of time. Videos are also preferred by many buyers. We accept these as FLVs, or MOVs.
Whichever format you choose, save it, and then add it to your main file's ZIP folder. It will be looked at by our review team, and if anything needs to be changed or added, they will inform you at that time.
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